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Industry body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has backed a new $6 million program by the Victorian government designed to buoy local retailers.

The program, titled Streetlife, was officially launched this week by Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher, and aims to provide targeted assistance to Victorian retailers.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the association will be strongly supporting the delivery of the Streetlife program, which will assist Victorian retailers to develop their business and marketing strategies, boost skills and improve online and social media practices for the current and future market.

“Victorian retailers far and wide will benefit from this program, and together with the ARA Retail Institute, the ARA is committed to providing the expertise to deliver the program and help retailers achieve key learning outcomes,” he said.

“The funding of the Streetlife program shows a commitment from the Victorian government to growth across both retail and small business. As the direct link between government and industry and the peak retail industry body the ARA will play a key role in implementing the program.”

Zimmerman also said that, going forward, the ARA will be calling on other state governments to look to the Streetlife program as a blueprint for retail growth, assistance and much needed funding for the retail industry to remain viable and relevant into the future.

The ARA was established in 1903 to act as industry body representing Australia’s $240 billion retail sector which employs over 1.2 million people.

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